SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Search and rescue efforts happen almost daily in Ukraine as Russian forces continue to bomb certain areas of the country.

One of those who are on the front lines is a volunteer firefighter from Wentworth, South Dakota.

Greg Zimmerman arrived in Ukraine four days ago.

He’s with a group of other firefighters called ‘Project Joint Guardian.’

Since his arrival, he’s had the grim duty of pulling numerous bodies from the rubble of collapsed buildings that were destroyed by the Russian military.

“When a building collapse happens, it takes a large amount of manpower and a large amount of expertise to use tools in certain ways to find people who are trapped in the rubble,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman is one of 12 firefighters from the U.S. who signed up to help Ukraine with search and rescue efforts in and around the city of Kyiv.

“Unfortunately we didn’t get here soon enough for a lot of people, so there are a lot of situations where we are in more of body recovery mode,” Zimmerman said.

The group brought along hydraulic extrication equipment to help in those efforts.

“Just like in South Dakota, a lot of the small town departments don’t have the funds to get even a hydraulic set of tools, so we are taking these tools to smaller towns because the Russians didn’t discriminate on town sizes when they were shelling,” Zimmerman said.

Besides recovering bodies, Zimmerman says the group also has to put out fires and is also heavily involved with rescuing dogs and cats.

While he says he feels safe where they are located, Zimmerman understands you’re never 100 percent safe in a war zone, where everyone is at risk.

“The real shocking things that have hit me are driving through residential areas and seeing a house completely collapsed by a shelling and that’s where our work sites are, going into residential areas where houses have been hit with a missile strike and we are recovering bodies out of them,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman is an electrical engineer with Dakota Supply Group. He says they were all about him going to Ukraine to help.

“They were 100% understanding, they said we believe in what you’re doing so go ahead and take the time off and we will see you when you get back,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman says he’ll be there for at least another week, then there’ll be another rotation of firefighters going over to help.